Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Temple of the Fish

Air China had a good documentary on Tsukiji Fish Market on the way over. Still, there's nothing like seeing the real thing for yourself.

You've probably heard or seen something about this place, which has been in operation since 1935, and which handles 2000 tons of 450 varieties of fish every day. It's the place with the tuna auctions where they'll sell one of these beasts for tens of thousands of dollars. Do not make any sudden motions in the auction bay. It ain't gonna fit in your luggage.

But just walking around--ideally when things start to calm down--is mesmerizing. If it lives in the ocean, it dies here. Delicately packed uni, bright red ikura, tanks of clams and oysters and crabs and lobsters, styro boxes filled with whitebait. Really, everything comes in those boxes, which creates a bit of a mess.

And throughout it all, forklifts and bicycles and stubby little motorized carts zoom around, somehow managing not to mangle all the tourists who stand paralyzed in awe.

The buildings run on forever, but if you've got the fortitude to make it out the other side the freshest sushi on earth awaits. There's about a dozen tiny sushi bars, each with eight to ten seats inside and 40-50 people waiting outside. It's worth it.

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